A HERO'S WELCOME
FSWC was honoured this afternoon by a visit from
Franco Perlasca, son of Giorgio Perlasca, recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous
Among the Nations. During WWII Mr. Perlasca, an Italian on a business trip to
Hungary, saved more than 5,000 Hungarian Jews by posing as the Spanish
ambassador and providing Spanish citizenship to the community.
Franco Perlasca, who was
unaware of his father's heroism until adulthood, now runs the Giorgio Perlasca
Foundation in Italy to preserve the legacy of his father, and to educate youth
and teach them they have the power to make a positive difference.
In 2010 the Italian government issued a stamp in
honour of Giorgio Perlasca; during today's visit his son had the opportunity to
tell his father's story to a group of Catholic high school students visiting the
Center, and to present FSWC with a postcard bearing the date of issue of the
first run of the stamp.
. . . To
in unlikely places. Two
North Carolina-based entrepreneurs who are using the popularity of NASCAR auto
racing to show their support for Israel on a highly visible world stage. Rich
Shirley and Mark MacCaull started America-Israel Racing (AIR) in response to
recent political sentiment against Israel, and are backing a show car featuring
the Star of David alongside the Stars and Stripes.
The audience for NASCAR racing worldwide is immense; The Daytona 500 alone is
broadcast to more than 150 countries in 20 languages. AIR hopes to qualify for
Daytona and place a car in the 2012 NASCAR Spring Cup Series, and to gain a
worldwide stage for its message of friendship and support for Israel.
CLICK HERE to watch the full story on CBN
. . . To George Galloway,
who shocked the UK with
his surprise win in Thursday's by-election in the ethnically mixed city of
Bradford in northern England.
Galloway, who hosts a weekly show on Iran's English-language channel Press TV,
is one of the most controversial figures in British politics; he is well known
for his anti-Israel views and support of the terrorist organization Hezbollah,
and was filmed in 1994 telling former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein: "Sir, I
salute your courage, your strength and your indefatigability."
TERRORISTS USING TWITTER TO PLAN ATTACKS?
An Interview with Rabbi Abraham Cooper on FoxNews
"The front line today in the battle against
terrorism is on the internet"
DID YOU KNOW. . .
. . . In the political war of words over how far Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should go to defend Israel against Iran, no
politician has been more supportive than past Spirit of Hope Speaker and current
Republican nominee hopeful Newt Gringrich.
In a recent conversation with CNN's "State of the Union" Gingrich said Iran is
playing the U.S. for fools, while emphasizing that no Israeli leader could
possibly let Iran develop nuclear capabilities.
NEWS FEATURES OF THE WEEK
"COMPASSION TO ACTION"
Mission to Europe planned for Fall 2012
"I consider myself fortunate to have been in the company of FSWC and especially
survivor, Max Eisen,whose personal testimony on site was unforgettable; I am
still processing the experience."
"From Compassion to Action" plans are under way!
~Dr. James Lunney, MP
FSWC will be travelling with a high level delegation of Canadians to Poland and
Israel from October 21st to October 30th, 2012. While visiting sites of the
Holocaust and learning about the importance of Israel today, participants will
have the opportunity to meet and speak with leading experts in the fields of
Holocaust and tolerance education.
A limited number of spots are available on the
program. If you are interested in joining the delegation please contact Melissa
Mikel at (416) 864-9735 x24 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FSWC COMMUNITY PRESENTATION
with Sgt. Debbie Bodkin
Join us as Sgt. Debbie Bodkin, formerly of the Waterloo Regional Police and a
member of the UN Commission of Inquiry for Darfur, talks about her experiences
with NATO and the UN in Sudan.
May 2, 2012 @7 pm
FSWC Tom & Anna Koffler Tolerance Training Center
5075 Yonge St. Ste. 902
To register contact Stephanie Eldridge at 416,864.9735 x 22 or email
TURKISH AMBASSADOR'S DESIRE FOR FRIENDSHIP
WITH ISRAEL TEMPERED ED BY CAUTION AND CONCERN
An exclusive presentation by the Turkish
ambassador to Canada to an intimate group of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center
for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) supporters featured statements of warmth and
friendship by the ambassador for the State of Israel and Jews around the world.
Ambassador Rafet Akgunay, accompanied by his wife
Zeynep and the Turkish Consul General Ali Riza Guney, set the tone for the
evening with his opening remarks as he wished the group a "Chag Sameach" and
declared, "I know we are among friends and please be assured you see a friend of
Israel and Jewish co
(L-R): York Regional Police Inspector Ricky Veerappan, Avi Benlolo, Ambassador
Rafet Akgunay, York Regional Police Chief Eric Joliffe, Turkish Consul General
Ali Riza Guney & York Regional Police Sergeant Paul Chiang
The ambassador, who has served in such diverse
countries as China, Italy, the US and Greece, was also a member of the Turkish
embassy contingent in Tel Aviv in the early 1980's. His message was one of
friendship, as well as concern for the future of the relationship between Turkey
and Israel and unease about the outcome of the Arab Spring and what the end
result may mean for the entire region.
Noting that Turkey was one of the first countries
to recognize Israel (and that offensive shampoo ads featuring Hitler had been
removed from Turkish TV), the ambassador emphasized, "We need each other more
than ever before. . . I'm sure Israel is as worried as we are with the
developments in Syria, and to see what will be the outcome at the end of the day
in Egypt, Libya and so on, because these countries surround us and the fire may
come to our homes as well," adding, "we need to share our experiences, extend
our hands and work to help each other."
However, in addressing the 'elephant in the room'
- the difficult issue of the Mavi Marmara and the Gaza flotilla, both sides
could not find agreement on the incident and differing interpretations of the UN
report on the episode were clearly in evidence. "Our friendship is so deep
rooted that we cannot turn back, but we need to repair the breach and we need to
repair it soon," advised the Ambassador.
"Ambassador Akgunay's visit was an opportunity to
dialogue, develop understanding for both sides, build bridges and to improve
our relationship with the Turkish people. Although there is significant work to
be done to regain trust on both sides, the alternative to friendship is not
desirable by either party" noted Avi Benlolo, President and CEO of FSWC.
A POWERFUL PERSONAL RESPONSE TO THE
TRAGEDY IN TOULOUSE
By Stockwell Day
The following excerpt from the blog of former
Canadian politician Stockwell Day was written in response to the
tragic shootings in
A wonderful rabbi and beautiful children were
massacred for one reason and one reason only - they were Jews.
Every one of us who is not Jewish must link arms
in a virtual and virtuous circle of protection of the Jewish people around the
globe, wherever they live.
Those who allow toxic anti-Semitic thoughts to
brew chillingly deep within their depraved hearts and minds must know beyond all
doubt that we will not allow Jews to stand, and sometimes perish, alone.
The minds of potential perpetrators, in the
nascent stages of their inhuman murderous fantasies, must also be
inhabited with images of untold millions of all creeds and cultures linking
their arms and hearts around Jews everywhere. We must be visibly unintimidated,
unexcusing, utterly unaccepting of any such
perversion of thought or action.
Potential and existential murderers must hear the
cry of our hearts, the non-Jews of the planet, that we will never accept their
perverted machinations. An attack on a Jewish grandchild is an attack on my
grandchild. The murder of a Jewish parent is the murder of my
parents. When Jews are targeted for destruction,
we are all targeted. Let us lift and link our arms together, in plain view, and
not just to comfort and console.
As now 'the bell tolls' for each of us, so must
the sound of our alarms for the protection of innocent Jews be heard without
ceasing around the world.
Only then may 'Never Again' become a reality.
YOM HASHOAH TRIBUTE RESPONSE OVERWHELMING
The need for increased Holocaust education is the guiding principle in FSWC's
upcoming Holocaust commemoration on April 19, with a planned Tribute to
Holocaust survivors drawing a tremendous response from survivors who have been
invited to be a part of the program.
The Tribute is the opening segment of the
commemoration, which includes the presentation of the Canadian Premiere of the
critically acclaimed one-man play, Nazi Hunter - Simon Wiesenthal; the
event is a unique way to not only provide insight into the life and legacy of
Simon Wiesenthal, but to engage younger generations about the Holocaust through
Holocaust Survivor Committee member Otto Friedman says that, as a survivor, this
commemoration is especially meaningful. "It is not easy for me to re-live the
years of the Holocaust, but how can I ever forget my father? How can I ever
forget the six million innocent victims killed by hate? I will never forget as
long as I live. We must never forget. We must ensure and teach future
generations what happened to our people because their only crime was being a
For tickets to the April 19 event at the Toronto Center for the Arts please
contact Stephanie at 416.864.9735 x 22 or email
Time to banish the "A" word
In separate presentations at Ottawa's Carleton
University and the University of Ottawa, Dr. Mitchell Bard discussed the
challenges currently facing Israel, - including the threat of a nuclear
Iran, the shifting balance of power in the Middle East and the need to banish
the "A" word to stop the linking of Israel with the "Big Lie" of apartheid.
Dr. Bard, whose recent presentations were
sponsored by FSWC in partnership with the Israel Awareness Committee of Ottawa,
is a leading expert in analyzing Middle-East policy and the Executive Director
of The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise.
"I enjoyed meeting Dr. Mitchell Bard and hearing
his shrewd, often frank insights on how the Obama administration has addressed
the Iranian nuclear threat, the rise of Islamism in light of the Arab Spring,
and the ongoing barriers to the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations,"
said University of Ottawa student Adam Moscoe. "Dr. Bard offered a broad
view of the Middle East which contextualized the challenges facing Israel in its
A CELEBRATION OF JEWISH CULTURE - IN
An intimate group of FSWC supporters were privileged to meet with Janusz Makuch,
Founder and Director of Europe's largest Jewish Cultural Festival - the Krakow
Jewish Culture Festival, earlier this week. The
10-day festival, which begins in July and features 270 events, was designed to
"pay tribute to the past but look to the future," said Makuch, who explained the
festival was established to prove that "six years of the Holocaust cannot
eclipse thousands of years of Jewish life."
CALLOUS COMMENTS AT CYBER-BULLYING
NEED FOR INCREASED TOLERANCE EDUCATION
students at the start of an FSWC workshop on digital hate shows the need for
greater awareness and education to tackle the increasing proliferation of
bullying online; after learning that written torments led a teenager to commit
suicide, one student questioned why the victimized teen had opened herself to
ridicule online, saying, ""if she was going to put herself on YouTube she had to
be ready for the negative comments that were bound to come her way."
"Blaming the victim
in any situation is dangerous; however, when it comes to cyber-bullying it is a
greater concern. Students need to understand that the victim is never at fault
and that every individual who posts online must be responsible for their own
words and actions," says Melissa Mikel, FSWC Managing Director of Education.
"Our workshops teach students that instead of contributing to hatred online,
they need to stand up to cyberbullies and offer friendship and support to those
who are victimized."
SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER DENOUNCES
OUTRAGEOUS COMPARISON OF THE DALAI LAMA TO NAZI PERPETRATORS OF THE HOLOCAUST
March 25, 2012 - The Simon
Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights NGO denounced China's state-run
media for equating Nobel Prize winner, the Dalai Lama to the Nazi perpetrator of
the World War II
Holocaust during which 6 million Jews were systematically
murdered. According to the New York Times, the commentary was posted on China
Tibet Online and carried by the official Xinhua News Agency. It accused the
Dalai Lama of advocating policies that would result in the expulsion of ethnic
Han Chinese from historically Tibetan parts of the country. "The remarks of the
Dalai Lama remind us of the cruel Nazis during the Second World War," it stated,
adding, "How similar it is to the Holocaust committed by Hitler on the Jews!"
the commentary charged.
READ MORE . . .
of Simon Wiesenthal Center
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies
416.864.9735 x 32